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The 36 Best Movies of 1990— A Truly Exceptional Year



The 35 Best Movies Of 1990— A Truly Exceptional Year

Best Movies of the 1990s Part 1

To say that 1990 was an important year for pop culture, would be an understatement. It was the year Twin Peaks premiered on ABC-TV with a 21.7 rating and was viewed by 34.6 million people. MTV’s Unplugged was broadcast for the first time; Will Smith entered America’s living rooms with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Cheers was still the number one show with Roseanne not far behind in ratings. Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 3 in North America (arguably the best video game of the 8-bit generation) and later that year the company released the Super Famicon in Japan, easily the best video game system of the decade. M.C. Hammer was teaching kids how to dance; Paula Abdul was tearing up the Billboard charts and Milli Vanilli was busy making millions by stealing other people’s music. Oh yeah, it just so happened to be the same year that Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server and the foundation for the World Wide Web.

1990 was also a truly remarkable year for movies. David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won the Palme d’Or; Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Julia Roberts; Patrick Swayze and Macaulay Culkin became the biggest stars on the planet thanks to three movies that shattered box-office records.

By the time it had run its course in theaters, Home Alone was the third-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide; while Pretty Woman became Disney’s highest-grossing R-rated release ever. But it was Jerry Zucker’s Ghost that became the unexpected biggest hit of 1990, grossing over $505.83 million on a budget of $22 million.

1990 also gave us what is arguably Martin Scorsese’s best movie (Goodfellas); two of the best comic book movies ever made (Dick Tracy and Darkman), and a slew of great horror films. It was also the year that introduced me to plenty of international filmmakers such as Wong Kar Wai, Abbas Kiarostami, and Luc Besson, to name a few.

When I initially sat down to write this article, I intended on selecting only ten movies but once I started listing my favourites, I just couldn’t help but expand the number of recommendations to thirty-five films.

A few quick notes before moving ahead:

As with all lists, the choices here are obviously subjective.

Normally, in the past, I would write one capsule review for each film but since I plan on releasing a list for every other year in the decade, I’ve instead decided to simply include one screenshot along with the official plot synopsis courtesy Sorry guys, but these lists are time-consuming and I’ve come to quickly learn that most people don’t bother reading every capsule review either way— so why bother?

That out of the way, here are the 35 best movies of 1990, each represented by one perfect screenshot.



36 Perfect Screenshots from the Best Movies of 1990

Die Hard 2

36. Die Hard
Directed: Renny Harlin

They say lightning never strikes twice… They were wrong

John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

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Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast and the Sordid Cinema Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound on Sight. Former host of several other podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead shows, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

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